ALCF Arthur H Virtue Home Movies Clip 9169
- Publication date
- 1960s home movies, 1960s home movie trick shots, 1960s Americana, 1960s American family life, 1960s suburban family life, 1960s Christmas, 1960s television, 1960s Christmas gifts, 1960s holiday tradition, Mainland Regional High School, Campbell’s soup, 1960s dinner, 1960s pets, 1960s clothing, 1960s board games, New Jersey, 1966, 1960s, Northfield, Al Larvick Fund
The Films of Arthur H. Virtue
Descriptions by Jini Virtue Errichetti
This clip is part of the Arthur H. Virtue collection. Arthur H. Virtue is the
primary filmmaker in this collection. His daughter, Virginia Errichetti is the current custodian of the family films. This collection was conserved and digitally transferred through a grant awarded to Virginia Errichetti by the Al Larvick Conservation Fund in partnership with its sponsor Pro8mm. For more information about this collection, visit https://www.allarvickfund.org/films-of-arthur-h-virtue/
The mission of the Al Larvick Conservation Fund is to preserve historical and cultural heritage through conservation, education, and the public accessibility of American home & amateur analog audiovisual materials. For more information, visit allarvickfund.org. Please respect the creative commons licensing assigned to this collection.
The main family members captured in this collection are:
Father/Filmmaker: Arthur H Virtue 4/1/1914 - 12/31/1986
Wife/Mother: Virginia Florence Magowan 3/2/1918 - 7/23/2005
Daughter: Lois Jean Virtue
Son: Arthur Magowan Virtue
Nephew: James Albert Virtue
Son: Vance Charles Virtue
Niece: Wendy Martin Virtue
Daughter: Virginia (Jini) Lyn Virtue Errichetti
Others in this footage include Minnie (Wilimina) Leticia Hagen,
Arthur’s mother-in-law, Minnie (Wilimina) Leticia Hagen and Martha Agnes Kennedy 1874-1960, Arthur’s mother. Additional family members include Arthur’s grandchildren, Vicki, David, Lynn, and Diane. Arthur’s hometown was Northfield, New Jersey, a small town not far from Atlantic City where he worked on the boardwalk.
Collection title: The Films of Arthur H. Virtue
Original format: Super 8 & 8mm film, color, black & white, silent.
Digital format: Footage captured at a standard definition format of 720 x 486 resolution.
Collection size: Approx. 8000ft
Circa: mid 1950s - mid 1980s
Arthur enjoyed “playing around with film and photography,” often shooting trick shots and animating objects and titles for his film. He built a darkroom in the cellar and would often experiment with double exposures and overlays. He also inadvertently became a historical filmmaker as he documented his time working in Atlantic City during the 30’s – 70’s and the many trips the family would take to New York City, Philadelphia, and other areas along the eastern seaboard. He built a frame to hold his Super 8 camera and would shoot miles of the highway as he drove.
This clip, labelled “Christmas 1966,” begins with a shot of the family Christmas tree, adorned with ornaments and angels (0:09). Daughter Virginia writes “there is snow outside, a real Christmas.” Then there is a panning shot of the living room, showing the wrapped presents on top of the couch and underneath the tree (0:14). Next shot shows daughter Virginia (Jini) with a curler in her hair, son Vance, and their cousin Wendy, excitedly descending the staircase and walking to the couch and tree to begin unwrapping their gifts. Wendy has not moved in with them yet but still shares in their Christmas celebration (0:26). A shot of daughter Virginia sitting on the floor with one of her presents which appears to be a plaid lunchbox or bag. She opens it to examine the inside (0:45). Son Vance opens up his present while cousin Wendy excitedly looks on. He closely examines his gift; a new watch (0:59). Vance attempts to put the watch on his wrist and his mother, Virginia, helps him out after handing some money in an envelope to daughter Virginia (1:35). The children continue looking through their gifts. Daughter Virginia appears to be holding two books (1:49). Another shot of the children looking through their presents. Wendy eagerly shows Vance a brand new black purse (2:07). Daughter Virginia carries a hefty stack of unwrapped gifts over to the chair while disposing of the wrapping paper. Meanwhile, Vance and Wendy continue digging into their gifts (2:41). Shot of daughter Virginia who closely examines her gifts (*not sure what they are). The camera zooms in closely on her face to capture her reactions (3:10). (3:37) Vance tries on a new brown sweater, throwing it on over his clothes. The camera zooms in on the words written in white lettering on the front of the jacket that appear to say “Mainland Mustangs,” the sports team for Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey. The school is still there today.
We are now in the dining room. We see Arthur, dressed nicely in a tie, and daughter Virginia and Wendy sitting at the table. Arthur raises his glass in a toast and the camera pans over to the side of the table where a “Merry Christmas” banner and candles are set up (4:03).
There is a shot of a Christmas tree lit up in the dark (probably outside of the house) (4:18). A shot of the front of the house, covered in Christmas lights. Daughter Virginia writes that Arthur “was always proud of his outdoor decorations, and would play music through a speaker” (4:32). Another shot of the Christmas tree in the dark (5:00). Close up shot of the front door of the house framed with Christmas lights. The lights of the house are switched off to emphasize the decorations (5:13).
A large group of people, friends of the family, are welcomed into the house by Vance. Virginia writes: “The father, Nelson Amy, was friends with my parents from high school. He loved photography, too. He lived until he was 99 years old” (5:28). A trick shot using a jump cut where Vance makes a pot of poinsettias disappear (5:46). One more shot of Vance. It appears that they were getting ready to set up another trick shot but the camera ran out of film (5:54).
It is now Christmas 1967. There is a shot of the family’s new dog, Duke, who runs up to the camera. “I loved that dog,” Virginia writes (6:06). The mother, Virginia, prepares Christmas dinner in the kitchen. There are Campbell’s soup cans on the counter. The camera pans over, showing the rest of the kitchen (6:13). Virginia continues cooking. The camera slowly zooms in on a can of Crisco and a large turkey, still wrapped up (6:26). As with last year, we see the Christmas tree, decorations, and presents in the living room (6:42). Shot of the clock, fireplace, television, and front door in the living room (7:00). Daughter Virginia and Vance come down the stairs and make a beeline for their gifts (7:14). Virginia sits on the sofa and opens her gifts, presenting them to the camera. However, it is too dark to make out what exactly the gifts are (7:31). Vance has joined his sister on the sofa (8:03). Vance holds up a new pair of black slacks to his waist, showing his mother who reclines on a chair in the living room. Virginia excitedly shows one of her presents, something round and shiny, to the camera (8:07). Vance sits by the door, unwrapping another present which is revealed to be a new black sweater. The price tag is still on (8:52). Virginia holds up the board game, “BASH!” (by Milton Bradley) and the camera pans back over to Vance with his sweater (9:30). After a jump cut, Vance is now wearing his new sweater. It fits him well (9:50). The camera pans around the lively and full living room. The Amy family has returned (10:08). Virginia’s maternal grandmother Minnie (79 at the time) enters the house, showing off her faux fur coat (10:29). Minnie’s boyfriend Harry enters, waving dramatically at the camera (10:47). Daughter Virginia’s sister’s family enters soon after with her oldest niece, nephew, “and a brand new niece, less than two months old.” The children wave at the camera. “Now you know why my mother had that huge turkey!” Virginia writes (10:59). The whole extended family meets and greets around the Christmas tree (11:40). A shot of the two month old, asleep in a baby rocker (11:51). The whole family is seated at the dinner table. The mother, Virginia, shows off the dishes one by one to the camera while the children wave (12:00). Vance plays with Duke on the living room floor. They roll around together in front of the roaring fireplace (12:19).
We continue to Christmas 1968. Virginia writes “My uncle died in February of that year so this is the first Christmas my cousins are living with us.” Daughter Virginia and her cousin Wendy open up gifts in the living room. Wendy holds up a shiny black purse. The camera then pans over to the Christmas tree and the lights are shut off, allowing the room to be illuminated by the lights on the tree (14:01). Wendy runs around the living room with her Christmas stocking while Virginia sits in front of the television opening presents (14:38). Virginia dances around with a new plaid skirt as if she were wearing it. The kids show off their gifts to the camera and Wendy tries on a new black boot as the camera zooms in (15:00). Virginia’s cousin Jimmy, Wendy’s brother, examines his new hockey stick (15:53). The kids stand around the tree, each examining their gifts (Wendy is still in the back with her boot). Vance tries to open what looks like a new briefcase (16:09). Vance helps Duke, now fully grown, open his Christmas gift which appears to be a green dog toy. Duke is excited (16:32). The kids sit on the floor with Duke eagerly examining what each of them are holding (17:02). Virginia tries to give the cat her present but she doesn’t seem interested (17:25). Back in the kitchen, the mother, Virginia, sets the table with some teacups while talking to her first cousin Marion Alexander and an unidentified man in sunglasses (17:43). Daughter Virginia’s niece, wearing a striking pink peacoat, toddles around before finding a nice place on the floor to sit (17:56). Virginia’s nephew, in a blue onesie, jumps around on the couch watching the television while the camera follows the niece as she walks around carrying some sort of stick and smiling (18:28). Virginia’s youngest niece walks around the dining room while a woman (probably her mother) helps direct her. She is just learning to walk (18:58). Virginia’s cousins and nieces and nephews sit at a small table in the kitchen and eat together (19:37). Wendy sits in the chair with the youngest niece, helping her wave at the camera (19:46). The youngest niece stands on top of the sofa and plays in a large mirror (19:59). The kids play in the living room (20:26). Virginia, on her knees, crawls through a door (20:46). The youngest niece is being fed by her mother in the kitchen (20:52). The kids jump around in the living room. Virginia’s nephew wears a yellow #43 jersey. The film ends right as Virginia begins to roll on the floor (21:02)
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